About Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are thought to result from a process where people become intensely concerned with their shape and weight and judge themselves based largely on this. These patterns of thinking, feeling, body weight and eating habits can cause people to have multiple physical problems, a constant preoccupation with weight, shape and eating, and frequent distress.
Symptoms of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders may result in some of the following symptoms:
- Strict self-control over eating
- Maintenance of abnormally low body weight
- Excessive concern about your appearance and body weight
- Fear of gaining body weight
- Seeing yourself as overweight
- Excessive exercising
- Forced vomiting to reduce calorie intake
- Over-eating or binge episodes
- Letting people around you think you have eaten when you haven’t
- Constant or excessive checking of your body appearance or body weight.
Types of Eating Disorders
Anorexia nervosa represents about 3% of all eating disorder cases in Australia . People with anorexia nervosa are constantly preoccupied with food. They tend to see themselves as ‘overweight’ when their body weight is extremely low.
Due to starvation and malnutrition, they experience changes in the brain making it difficult for them to recognise and accept that they are not healthy and well.
Bulimia nervosa accounts for about 12% of the eating disorder cases in Australia .
People with bulimia nervosa experience frequent frequent binge eating episodes. Unlike Binge Eating Disorder, they ‘purge’ the food they’ve eating by forcing themselves to vomit, and taking laxatives.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge Eating Disorder represents almost 50% of all eating disorder cases in Australia . People with Binge Eating Disorders consume large amounts of food, often followed by feelings of guilt and shame. They don’t force themselves to purge or vomit what they’ve eaten, however, they may fast or go on a diet as a result of a binging episode.
Treatment for Eating Disorders and Recovery
Recovery from an eating disorder is a personal and individual journey. Everybody is different, and so should their treatment approach to overcoming an Eating Disorder. Generally, eating disorders are treated by a multidisciplinary team of health professionals, including a psychologist, dietitian and doctor.
Psychological treatment is often required to help people recover from an eating disorder. A common therapy method psychologists use is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy(CBT). CBT Therapy can help you manage eating-disorder-related thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
A dietitian can assist you in learning healthy eating behaviours.